A scintillating maiden Momentum One-Day Cup century by Jacques Snyman paved the way for the VKB Knights to end their winless start to the season and overcome the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras by three wickets on the DLS Method in Kimberley on Saturday.

The right-hander blazed 124 off 71 balls, including 9 sixes and 10 fours, to help the hosts cruise to a 258 target with 40 balls to spare.

It was a magical innings by Snyman and one the Central Franchise will be hoping is the tonic they need to ignite a poor campaign so far where their batsmen have struggled.

At the Diamond Oval, though, they were no such problems thanks to their top-scorer, whose performance came after the visitors had earlier posted 226 for five when they were put into bat first.

The competition’s leading batsman, Zubayr Hamza, once again played a key hand with a score of 64 off 60 balls (6 fours, 1 six).

The Cobras’ captain was aided by Jonathan Bird’s maiden 50 at this level – the South Africa Under-19 star top-scoring with 69 (77 balls, 3 fours, 2 sixes).

Janneman Malan (39) and Kyle Verreynne (34) also made useful contributions.

The intervention of rain meant the target was revised and Andries Gous (34) and Snyman then offered the Knights a blazing start of 106 in just over 12 overs to set them on their way.

Akhona Mnyaka (3/36) threatened to derail the chase, but Wandile Makwetu (45) and Obus Pienaar (34 not out) offered Snyman enough support to get their side over the line and a first win after five games.

VKB Knights coach Alan Kruger insists they are not yet pressing panic buttons in their pursuit of the Momentum One-Day Cup semi-finals despite a woeful start to the 2019/20 campaign.

The Central Franchise have failed to win any of their first four games – they lost three and have one washout – ahead of their round five encounter and the halfway point of the first phase of the competition against the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in Kimberley on Saturday.

It has not been good at all for the Knights, who have been heavily let down by their batsmen, with Kruger conceding they need to up their game.

“The Knights do have a history of being slow starters,” he stated. “We seem to be doing that far too often and then trying to come from the back when it is a little bit too late. So hopefully we can start now.

“It certainly isn’t panic stations as yet. We’ve only played four matches so far and a lot can happen still considering the number of points that are still on offer.

“But we just need to knuckle down, have more self-belief and play the way we know we can. I think if we can do that, the tables will turn for us.”

There was at least a positive, if they want to look at it that way, when they collected their first points of the campaign, albeit via a rain-abandoned game against the Warriors in midweek.

Their underlying problem, however, is plain for all to see – the batting, which has yielded scores of 115, 164 and 134 thus far.

“I know it’s been difficult because you can’t really compete if you only make a score of 150,” Kruger added. “That is just not good enough. The batsmen know that, and they have been doing some soul searching amongst themselves.

“I also feel that each individual has to look within, they have to be open with each other and think collectively rather than individually. We are one team at the end of the day and we have got into the situation as a team.

“The only way we’re going to get out of it is as a team. So that’s been the message and hopefully we can do the business in the next game.”

Kruger and his team can take solace in the fact that they are up against a Cobras side showing plenty of inconsistency.

The Cape side failed to chase 184 against the log-leading Hollywoodbets Dolphins in midweek and remain second bottom with eight points from six games, two more than the Knights.

Their captain, Zubayr Hamza, admits they have to make drastic improvements in the games ahead. “Our batting unit simply did not come to the party in the last game,” he said. “We have to go back to the drawing board to try and rectify some of the mistakes we are making.

“We’re had extensive chats about game plans and execution, but we’re still not getting it right.”

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras Squad: Zubayr Hamza (c), Akhona Mnyaka, Aviwe Mgijima, Dane Paterson, Dane Piedt, George Linde, Janneman Malan, Jason Smith, Jonathan Bird, Kyle Verreynne, Mihlali Mpongwana, Pieter Malan, Rory Kleinveldt, Thando Ntini

HEAD TO HEAD – VKB Knights v World Sports Betting Cape Cobras

Matches Played           28

Knights Win                 11

Cobras Win                  16

No Result                      01

Highest Score 320/4 (Bloemfontein 2017/18) 296/6 (Bloemfontein 2011/12)
Lowest Score 94 (Paarl 2012/13) 39 (Paarl 2008/09)
Highest Individual Score 132 TB de Bruyn (Bloemfontein 2016/17) 114* S van Zyl (Kimberley 2009/10)
Best bowling in an innings 4-24 MS Tshabalala (Cape Town 2005/06) 5-22 RK Kleinveldt (Cape Town 2018/19)

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince believes his team is currently just short of where they need to be and has challenged them to improve when they face the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in their latest Momentum One-Day Cup outing in Cape Town on Wednesday.

The hosts have not been too bad so far this season but have still ended up losing three of their five matches to sit second-bottom on the standings at the halfway point of the regular season.

In fact, they scored 300-plus in their last game and still ended up losing to the Imperial Lions, a loss that disappointed Prince.

“The captain (Zubayr Hamza) batted really well in the last game and was very unfortunate to be on the losing side after such and unbelievable innings (of 156),” he said. “Posting 300 on the Highveld these days is not quite enough.

“We probably fell about 20 or 30 runs short, so fair play to the Lions for chasing that down.”

The Cape side have had two scores in the 270s and just one really poor showing when they made 207 in a loss to the Titans.

They are up against a Dolphins side whom they beat last time out when a score of 320 took them to victory in Pietermaritzburg.

“Now we’re looking forward to tomorrow,” Prince added. “We beat the Dolphins a couple of weeks ago, but they’re a solid outfit.

“They’ve got some solid batsmen and have been playing well. They also have good balance in their bowling attack with quite a bit of spin in there.

“They’re a strong side but all the teams are strong to be honest. There’s no easy games and the Dolphins will be tough.”

With the season now heading into the second half for the Cobras, every match is important. “We’re going to have to dig deep in these games,” Prince concluded. “We can’t expect any to be easy. There’s no easy in professional sport.

“We’re going to have to raise our game because at the moment we’re falling just short…five or ten percent. We have to bring a little bit more tomorrow.”

The Dolphins, meanwhile, find themselves top of the table after winning three out of four games.

Coach Imraan Khan admits that things have gone well, but he feels they need to try and stay focussed on the current rather than get ahead of themselves.

“It’s been a good start to the campaign, the boys have played really good cricket,” Khan stated. “The game in Maritzburg against the Cobras was a bit of a frustrating one for us as a team.

“We still feel the rain came at a time when we were controlling the game, but it was a good effort to get as close as we did.

“Ahead of this next one the focus remains on one game at a time, the next one being this return game against the Cobras. There’s still a long way to go and a lot of hard work ahead in the competition.”

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras legend Rory Kleinveldt will be playing his final match at his beloved home ground Newlands and to celebrate and thank the fans for the support over the years, he’s buying a round of beer for the Newlands Faithful.

The Cobras squad is: Aviwe Mgijima, Kyle Verreynne, Jason Smith, Pieter Malan, Zubayr Hamza (capt), Janneman Malan, Mihlali Mpongwana, Thando Ntini, Rory Kleinveldt, George Linde, Dane Paterson, Nandre Burger, Jonathan Bird, Akhona Mnyaka.

The Dolphins squad is: Sarel Erwee, Grant Roelofsen, Khaya Zondo, Sibz Makhanya, Senuran Muthusamy, Marques Ackerman, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Keshav Maharaj (capt), Prenelan Subrayen, Rob Frylink, Daryn Dupavillon, Okuhle Cele, Kerwin Mungroo, Keith Dudgeon.

HEAD TO HEAD – World Sports Betting Cape Cobras v Hollywoodbets Dolphins

Matches Played            32

Cobras Win                   12

Dolphins Win                16

Tie                                   01 

No Result                       03

Highest Score 320/6 (Pietermaritzburg 2019/20) 315/7 (Durban 2017/18)
Lowest Score 111 (Cape Town 2007/08) 171 (Durban 2015/16)
Highest Individual Score 129 MZ Hamza (Pietermaritzburg 2019/20) 116* SJ Erwee (Pietermaritzburg 2019/20)
Best bowling in an innings 5-46 AC Dawson (Cape Town 2006/07) 5-42 CJ Alexander (Durban 2013/14)

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras legend Rory Kleinveldt will be playing his final match at his beloved home ground Newlands when the Cobras take on the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in a Momentum One Day Cup clash on Wednesday, and to celebrate and thank the fans for the support over the years, he’s buying a round of beer for the Newlands Faithful.

David Brooke, Brand and Sponsorship Manager for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras explained: “Rory has been an absolute stalwart to this franchise for over 17 years and he has always played for the fans and knows what it means to represent this proud team, but at the same time, having a good time while doing so. He wanted to say goodbye and thank the fans a little bit differently to the usual farewells, so he figured that he’d love to buy the supporters a round of Castle Lager as a way of showing his love and appreciation for the love and chirps on the side of the field over the years, so that’s what he’s doing.”

“During the second innings of the match on Wednesday, the DJ will announce a 30-minute period where there will be 500 beers available to the supporters at the game on a first-come-first-served basis at the main Castle Lager bars at the Stadium.”

Kleinveldt is looking forward to playing in front of the Newlands Faithful one last time before ending his Cobras career for good at the end of the season. “We could still get a home semi-final or final, but Wednesday is effectively my last guaranteed Newlands game of my career, so hopefully we’ll see a great crowd come out in support of the team and if we can win the game, it will be a fitting farewell and maybe I’ll even have a couple of cold ones to celebrate afterwards.”

Tickets for the match range from R30-R60 and are available online at www.ticketpro.co.za or at the Newlands Cricket Ground ticket office on match day.  

A key innings of 43 by Nono Pongolo helped the Imperial Lions snatch victory from what looked to be the jaws of defeat as they sealed a thrilling one-wicket win over the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in Potchefstroom on Sunday.

The seamer was left to bat in what appeared to be a lost cause – the hosts having slumped to 225 for six chasing 305 – and with only the other bowlers to come.

However, he helped them somehow managed to scrape together the other 80 with help from his fellow tail-enders as they edged to victory with two balls to spare.

It capped an excellent chase in which most of the runs had earlier come through all-rounder Delano Potgieter (66 off 37 balls, 5 fours, 4 sixes) and wicketkeeper Nicky van den Bergh (59 off 76 balls, 4 fours, 1 six), although their departures appeared to signal the end even though there were plenty of deliveries still to go.

But Pongolo had other ideas, helping seal a famous win, one that lifted the Lions up to second on the table.

Earlier, Zubayr Hamza continued his purple patch of form for the Cobras with a second career-best century in three games as they amassed 304 for eight after losing the toss and being asked to bat first at Senwes Park.

The Standard Bank Proteas Test batsman smashed 156 in 124 balls (13 fours, 4 sixes), following on his maiden ton two games earlier.

That also meant he had now recorded returns of 58, 129, 93 and now his lifetime best List A score in successive innings.

Jonathan Bird, fresh from his recent exploits for South Africa at the Under-19 World Cup, hit 47 on his franchise debut, with Pieter Malan striking 32.

Veteran spinner Aaron Phangiso was the pick of the bowlers with four for 46.

Despite losing wickets regularly, the Lions scored fairly rapidly thanks to Ryan Rickelton (32), Reeza Hendricks (24), Wihan Lubbe (28) and their two top scorers.

But they were six down by the 37th over, thanks mainly to Thando Ntini’s four for 62 that looked to have all but ended their hopes of victory.

Pongolo, though, had other ideas, and supported by Malusi Siboto (16) and Phangiso (14 not out), the trio helped their side edge over the line.

South Africa U19 batsman Jonathan Bird has been called up to the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras squad for the trip to play the Imperial Lions in a Momentum One Day Cup clash in Potchefstroom on Sunday.

Despite the SA U19 team enduring a disappointing campaign in the recent ICC Under-19 World Cup, finishing 8th in the tournament, Bird impressed with some hard-hitting at the start of the innings and Cobras coach Ashwell Prince is keen to see what he can bring to the Cobras setup.

“He’s obviously an attacking batsman and bowls quite handy chinaman, which adds quite a bit of versatility to the squad. The fact that he’s a left-handed batsman also counts in his favour as we currently only have George Linde in our top 7 who’s a lefty.”

Bird joins fellow graduates from the Western Province youth structures and WP Senior Provincial team, Thando Ntini and Mihlali Mpongwana in Prince’s squad, and the Cobras mentor is happy to see some exciting talent stepping up, with more young talent on their way up.

“We’re also quite excited about another one of our promising youngsters coming through our junior provincial and national teams, with Jono, Thando, Mihlali all having represented SA U19 over the last 24 months, as well as Ruan Terblanche (Boland) and Jean du Plessis (SWD).”

The match at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom starts at 10h00 on Sunday.

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras squad: Dane Piedt, Aviwe Mgijima, Kyle Verreynne, Jason Smith, Pieter Malan, Zubayr Hamza, Janneman Malan, Mihlali Mpongwana, Thando Ntini, Rory Kleinveldt, George Linde, Dane Paterson, Nandre Burger, Jonathan Bird.

A seventh career century by Dean Elgar helped the Momentum Multiply Titans make it two wins from their last two matches after they claimed a thumping 95-run Momentum One-Day Cup bonus-point win over the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in Cape Town on Wednesday.

The defending champions, who began the defence of their title with successive losses, were clinical at Newlands on their way to the top of the table.

Batting around Standard Bank Proteas Test ace Elgar, they amassed a strong 302 for four after losing the toss and being put into bat first.

The left-handed opener, in at No. 4, carved a fine 108 not out off 114 balls (6 fours, 1 six), allowing for captain Heinrich Klaasen (54 off 46 balls, 4 fours, 1 six) and Farhaan Behardien (62 off 35 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) to explode around him.

The Cobras’ chase never got going and, had it not been for another Proteas batsman Zubayr Hamza (93 off 95 balls, 9 fours, 1 six) getting nearly half their runs, they would have been completely embarrassed.

Imraan Manack was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors, bagging a career-best four for 48.

The Cobras fell to a heavy loss and one that left them fourth on the table after four games.

The Titans, meanwhile, will be feeling hugely satisfied after another compelling display in the Cape. Having beaten the Warriors in Port Elizabeth on Sunday, they came into the game high on confidence.

But they made a slightly difficult start, slipping to 90 for three after 22 overs with only Tony de Zorzi (44) amongst the runs at that stage.

But from there it was one-way traffic with Elgar and Klaasen plundering 111 for the fourth wicket, followed by the former and Behardien punishing the bowling with an unbroken 101 stand for wicket number five – runs that came in 11 overs.

The Cobras lost Janneman Malan (0) second ball of the chase and from there their innings went south.

Pieter Malan (15) and Kyle Verreynne (13) failed to make an impact, as to did Jason Smith (16), George Linde (6) and Aviwe Mgijima (6) as they slumped to 148 for six.

Hamza, fresh off his maiden career ton over the weekend, did his best to repel the Titans, but he too soon departed as right-arm spinner Manack and Tshepo Moreki (3/31) did most of the damage.

In the end the home side were all out for 207 in 43.2 overs.

The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras welcome back opening batsman Janneman Malan and wicket-keeper batsman Kyle Verreynne ahead of their clash against the Momentum Multiply Titans at Newlands on Wednesday.

Head Coach Ashwell Prince was pleased with his side’s bounce-back win over the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in Maritzburg on Sunday and is confident that the return of the Proteas duo will be a further boost to his side, who sit in third spot after three rounds of the competition.

“It was nice to bounce back up in Martizburg with a good performance so looking forward to tomorrow’s one against the Titans. They also had a good victory in PE so they will be confident,” he said.

“We are obviously delighted to have Janneman (Malan) and Kyle (Verreynne) back from the One Day squad, unfortunately they didn’t get to play with the one game rained out. Having said that, they both joined the national team with good form and they’re both hungry to be back playing so it’s a real big positive to have them back and they will definitely strengthen our squad. We have a strong batting line-up and they will add to that,” he added.

The Momentum Multiply Titans currently lie in fourth spot on the log and they will be looking for their second win of the competition.

The match starts at 13h30 and tickets are available online at www.ticketpro.co.za or at the stadium ticket office on match day.

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras Squad: Dane Piedt, Aviwe Mgijima, Kyle Verreynne, Jason Smith, Pieter Malan, Zubayr Hamza, Janneman Malan, Mihlali Mpongwana, Thando Ntini, Rory Kleinveldt, George Linde, Dane Paterson, Nandre Burger.

Momentum Multiply Titans squad: Heinrich Klaasen (capt), Farhaan Behardien, Corbin Bosch, Henry Davids, Tony de Zorzi, Dean Elgar, Dayyaan Galiem, Gregory Mahlokwana, Imraan Manack, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Tshepo Moreki, Alfred Mothoa, Grant Thomson, Hardus Viljoen.

A maiden List A century by Zubayr Hamza laid the foundation for the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras to edge the Hollywoodbets Dolphins by five runs on the DLS Method in their round three Momentum One-Day encounter in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.

The Standard Bank Proteas batsman was in supreme form, striking 129 off 133 balls (8 fours, 1 six) to help his side amass 320 for six.

After a brief rain delay during the chase – and the target being revised to 286 in 43 overs – Jason Smith bagged three for 36 to restrict the hosts to 280 for nine.

It ended a closely-fought affair and inflicted a first loss of the 2019/20 term on the in-form KwaZulu-Natal outfit.

The Cobras were full value for their win, though, especially after the way they batted.

Another Protea, Pieter Malan offered them a strong start with his innings of 71 (81 balls, 8 fours) after they won the toss and batted. He put on 111 with Hamza for the second wicket, before Smith (29) and the top-scorer combined for 62 during their third-wicket partnership.

George Linde (49) also joined the fun when he helped Hamza add 78 for the fourth wicket – the Cape side eventually setting 321.

The Dolphins had a good go at the target thanks once again to the in-form Grant Roelofsen. The young wicket-keeper, who hit his maiden ton on Friday, made 69 off 80 balls (5 fours, 2 sixes), sharing in stands of 74 with Sarel Erwee (30) for the first wicket and then 68 alongside Vaughn van Jaarsveld (41) for the next wicket.

But quick wickets by Smith pegged back the Dolphins.

Khaya Zondo (44) and Robbie Frylinck (32) did their best to keep pace, but scoreboard pressure eventually caught up with them as the Dolphins fell agonisingly short.

A career-best 157 by Ryan Rickelton enabled the Imperial Lions to make it two Momentum One-Day Cup wins from two after they earned a comfortable 49-run victory over the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in Paarl on Friday.

The left-hander smashed three sixes and 12 fours in a 135-ball innings of pure class that helped lift the hosts to a mammoth 320 for seven after they lost the toss and were asked to bat first.

Fast bowler Eldred Hawken then claimed three for 40 in 10 overs as the hosts were restricted to 271 for six – sealing an emphatic win at Eurolux Boland Park.

Rickelton, though, was the star after setting the tone for his side with a magnificent display with the bat.

His second career ton was the catalyst for an initial 125-run opening stand with Dominic Hendricks (50 off 68 balls, 3 fours), before a 63-run partnership followed with Kagiso Rapulana (32).

Then came arguably the most influential stand as Rickelton, who beat his previous best score of 126 for the Lions against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins at Potch last year, and Nicky van den Berg (36) thrashed 93 for the third wicket that proved key to their mammoth total.

It was the Lions’ highest total in the history of the fixture.

The Cobras suffered a double set-back in the opening eight overs after losing Pieter Malan (17) and Hanno Kotze (9) cheaply.

Zubayr Hamza (58 off 57 balls, 7 fours) and George Linde (58 off 60 balls, 2 fours, 1 six) did their best to keep with the pace, while Jason Smith (41) and Aviwe Mgijima (33) also tried, but the scoreboard pressure was too big as the Cobras slipped to their first loss of the term.